Footy History: 25 years ago at Geelong

Check this montage of new reports from 1991. [Worth working through all 9 minutes – who’d have thought that!]

You will recognise many of the names.

And the time.

25 years ago.



About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. Thanks JTH
    Made me feel 25 years younger. Ah! the memories!

  2. I lived in Geelong at the time of the Ablett retirement and the Pyramid collapse. Not sure which hit the town more!

    There were too many times when the place looked like a ghost town that had lost its heart!

  3. I was there when he returned to the Magoos at Princess Park.
    The seniors had a big win. Mark Bairstow torpedoed a goal from the centre square as Geelong got a run on in the second term. Dipper played his last match for the Hawks.


  4. Skip of Skipton says

    His “retirement’ had something to do with the taxman and his estranged wife. Not footy.

    Do you remember his comeback in the reserves? It was at Princes Park against Hawthorn. I was there with another 25,000 at 10 am. Ablett kicked 5, but was very rusty and remained that way for the rest of the 1991 season. The big stand out that day was a young Peter Riccardi tearing up the wing.
    Who’s this # 59? etc.

    I also recall Dipper playing in that game. He was clapped out. It would have been one of his last in the brown and gold. Steven Quartermain from channel 10 was standing next to us also.

  5. Skip of Skipton says

    That was Dipper’s first senior game in 1991 and last in his career. I thought he played in the reserves match with Ablett. Either way, he was rooted. A great player.

  6. We moved to Clifton Springs about 20 minutes from Geelong in 1997, we had no idea the impact that Pyramid had had on Geelong. Even then it felt very down on itself and there were few jobs on offer. Late 90s the mayor of the day had a mock funeral for sleepy hollow, saying that the city was moving on. Since then the waterfront has taken off, more office jobs (TAC, NDIS, ABS and next year Workcover) and 3 Premierships. The Ford and Alcoa job losses have been knocks but have been ridden. Darren Lyons has put Geelong on the news frequently.

  7. aussiegus says

    All this who ha about g Ablett

    More interesting. Mitchell. Hitchener. Keyte still holding their own in the news readers stakes

    Who would have thought that 25 years ago

    Also honourable mention to Ian cover. To have the tag line “coodabeen” is purely and uniquely melbourne

  8. Dennis Gedling says

    I just remember that return to training being the first time I heard Ablett referred to as a born again Christian and being confused by that clash of worlds as a 14 year old.

    Then on Hey Hey It’s Saturday around that same they had ‘funny photos’ and one photo was of a Pyramid Building Society van stuck in the middle of a river. Everyone laughed. Darryl didn’t.

  9. The other Gaz says

    How I long for those Golden Days. If only the footy fans of today could see him play one more game. What a sellout that would be! Alas I’ll just have to content myself with the memories of his unique style and the night he turned up at my 50th in Geelong with Mark Yeates. (Yeatesy was invited but he asked at the door if he could bring Gaz in as his special guest). What a treat! We sang karaoke all night and drank a few beers. No. 5 – IMO the greatest player ever for the Cats and a very handy singer too.
    Thanks for reviving the memories JTH. Much appreciated! GN

  10. Voice From The Past says

    I was working at K-Rock at the time and my on air role also included working closely with the Late great EJ Whitten whilst paneling K-Rock Football.
    I will never forget when the phone call came into the Radio Station from Ken Gannon.
    “He’s Back”
    I’m certain the world stopped for a brief second or two…well that’s how it felt to me.
    25 years…wow.
    Ahhh Yess….Good times,good,good times.

  11. Jim Johnson says

    To all who can go back a little further in THE Footy History at Geelong.
    I have been researching “Geelong and the drop and stab punt” from 1930 to 1955. I am interested in any facts anyone can advise me of re these two kicks from this period of time.
    Stab Punt .Jim

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